Thursday, January 30, 2014
"Traffic Jam" now tests "radical hospitality" of people. was well as politicians; can a technological culture be ready for everything?
NBC Nightly News, in its “Making a Difference” segment, documented much of the good Samaritan activity when motorists were stuck for more than 24 hours on freeways around Atlanta (and also Birmingham) with just three inches of snow.
There were cases reported in some media of people being taken in by strangers.
Is this the “radical hospitality” of the New Testament? It was more or less expected in Biblical times.
I talked about a sermon on this topic delivered right before Hurricane Sandy; the posting appears to be Oct. 30, 2012; it didn’t hit very hard where I live despite the predictions. (Neither had Irene in 2011.) The derecho in June 2012 was worse. This latest situation in Atlanta, the “Traffic Jam” (it seems as though Reid Ewing’s 2010 California freeway video -- or musical short film -- is prescient of political mess-ups, whether intentional as in New Jersey with Gov. Christie or just poor planning in the south) seems to have been easily preventable. Nevertheless, some day there could be a catastrophe so widespread that ordinary people would be expected to house others – not just family. (Actually, after Katrina, people were housed in Texas, and a few hundred came to DC.) Imagine what happens if part of the country has a crippling power incident because of a major solar storm or possibly terror EMP (or radioactivity dispersion) attack. Or what if there is major East Coast tsunami from the Canary Islands volcanoes – that is at least possible. (By the way, California’s undoing may not be earthquakes, but running bone dry.)
We have become dependent on technology, which actually provides solutions to many problems and may bring us to be “alone together”, or sometimes really be together. Can we really prevent catastrophes if we are careful enough about our infrastructure? Or do some of us (me) need to learn to find alternative purpose if “something happens.” Unpreparedness for it could make us targets for people or enemies with certain kinds of agendas.